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New topics announced for AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Centers

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has announced 15 new research topics for the Agency's Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs). The EPCs will conduct rigorous, comprehensive reviews of the relevant scientific literature on these topics, including meta-analyses and cost analyses, if appropriate. The results will be published by the Agency as evidence reports or technology assessments, which are available to the public, health care community, and researchers.

Eleven of the new topics assigned to the EPCs were nominated by outside organizations:

Management of allergic rhinitis. New England Medical Center, Boston, MA. Nominated by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Autopsy as the ultimate outcome measure. University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)-Stanford University. Nominated by the College of American Pathologists.

Impact of cancer-related decision aids. McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. Nominated by the National Cancer Institute.

Definition and management of chronic fatigue syndrome. University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. Nominated by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Diagnosis and treatment of congestive heart failure. RAND, Santa Monica, CA. Nominated by the American College of Physicians, American Society of Internal Medicine, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Mayo Clinic.

Criteria to determine disability of infant/childhood impairments. New England Medical Center, Boston, MA. Nominated by the Social Security Administration.

Diagnosis and management of Parkinson's disease. MetaWorks, Boston, MA. Nominated by the American Academy of Neurology.

Management of post-term pregnancy. Duke University, Durham, NC. Nominated by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Diagnosis and treatment of repetitive motion disorders. ECRI, Plymouth Meeting, PA. Nominated by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Social Security Administration.

Criteria for determining disability of speech/language disorders. Research Triangle Institute and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Nominated by the Social Security Administration.

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of echocardiography and carotid ultrasound in the evaluation and management of stroke. Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR. Nominated by the American Academy of Neurology.

Four of the new topics are in response to Congressional requests for specific information:

Utilization of physicians' services. RAND, Santa Monica, CA.

Methods to rate the strength of scientific evidence. Research Triangle Institute and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Training for a rare public health event of bioterrorism. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Role of decision support systems in disease management following a bioterrorism event. University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)-Stanford University.

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